Strategy Change Pays Off for Allman; Pulls Away for First CRA Win
When local driver Rob Allman realized with the
inversion of the top ten qualifiers for the Anderson 75 for the
Champion Racing Association Street Stocks would put him on the pole position it
called for a change of strategy.
Having secured the pole position through the inversion
Allman and team owner Dave Hacker decided to use new tires with the opportunity
to secure the victory.
Allman jumped into the lead at the start and led the
entire 75 lap distance for his first ever CRA victory.
He was chased at the start by Rich Boyer. Boyer's bid for
the win ended on lap 10 when he was black flagged because his Chevrolet was
spewing smoke from a leaking value cover gasket.
That moved Kentucky driver Rick Erwin into the second
position chased by Brian Hopkins, Jeff Perry and Jeff Lane.
Twice during caution periods Lane ducked into the pits,
rejoining the field at the tail.
The best early racing took place between Calvin Parham and
fast qualifier Josh Poore for the fifth position with Poore continuously looking
for a way around Parham, only to be stymied several times by caution flags.
Poore finally made an inside pass on Parham coming off the second corner, after
trading a little paint, in lap 32. But nine laps later Poore tangled with the
lapped car of J.S. Schafer and
spun on the back straight, ending his bid for the victory.
With Allman pulling away from the field a spirited battle
unfolded over the final five laps for the second position with Erwin, Hopkins,
Parham, Perry and Lane all trying to gain the spot.
At the checkers Allman won by 5.9 seconds with Erwin,
Hopkins, Parham and Lane rounding out the top five.
"I thought Rich (Boyer) had something for us early in the
race on fresh tires," Allman said. "But I noticed he was tucked in behind me and
not moving to the outside. The car was set up perfect tonight."
There were a total of five cautions with the first taking
place on lap five when Shawn Smith lost the brakes on his Chevrolet entering
turn three and taking Larry Lathan to the wall. The incident collected the cars
of John Weisenauer and Rod Phipps, making his first start for a new CRA Street
Stock team owned by Rodney Milliner. Phipps was the only driver able to continue
and drove to a ninth place finish.